chapter  11
John Blacman and the saintly king
Pages 17

This concluding chapter presents some closing thoughts covered in the preceding chapter of this book. Two sources are vital to understanding the posthumous reputation of the king. First, there is the account of Henry's life, and particularly of his religious beliefs and character, written in the early 1480s by John Blacman, a fellow of Eton College and intimate of the king. Second, there is the compilation of miracles supposedly performed by the late king and other evidence, material and liturgical, that documents Henry's popularity and reputation in the decades before the Reformation. Within a couple of years of his death Henry was being venerated as a saint and martyr, and during the last two decades of the fifteenth century a cult developed around his tomb. This chapter explains simplistic verdict on a king whose two reigns spanned six decades. In all probability the complexities of Henry's character proved as perplexing for early modern audiences as they do for historians today.